Thursday, July 31, 2008
Eight is indeed lucky
Milestone for a munchkin
London, ON, July 2008 [Click to embiggen]
Little man, otherwise known as Noah, turned eight today. All day long yesterday, he was counting the hours until midnight, wishing he could somehow speed things along. We gently reminded him that time always moves at the same speed, and someday he'll wish he could slow it down.
As we got ready for bed, my wife and I both found ourselves wishing we had that power. Maybe it's because he's our youngest, but his birthdays seem to tug at our hearts with just a bit more bittersweet flavor because he's the last of our three kids to celebrate them.
It's been quite some time since he was a baby, of course, but I still remember his coming into the world as if it were yesterday. It's hard to believe it's been eight years. But at the same time, it's hard to imagine life without him. Indeed, it's hard to imagine our world without him, without his kindness, empathy, sense of humor and sweetness.
He burst into our room early this morning to announce that he was finally eight years old - because we might have otherwise not known. As the fog receded from my eyes, I looked closely at him. He looked bigger than he had when we tucked him in just a few hours earlier. On her blog, my wife has written about his big puppy feet. This morning, his legs looked like they had grown just a little bit. Maybe they were trying to catch up. His face looked slightly older, more angular. Maybe it was just my eyes playing tricks on me - that happens when you hit my age, I suppose.
I can't slow down time and I can't keep him from rushing away from the baby he once was. I can't yet get him to truly appreciate why he shouldn't be in such a rush to grow up. I can't hold onto his childhood any more than he wants to remain there. Yet as he adds another year to his life, I find myself looking at my own, hoping I'm doing everything I can as his dad, as his mom's husband, to set the tone, to give him what he needs, to show him the way.
Eight years on, I still wonder some days if I'm following the manual the way I'm supposed to. Then it hits me that there is no manual. It's a reality that makes parenthood a challenge, but also an adventure and definitely a joy. I'm becoming who I am through the lens of our kids, and I doubt it would be anywhere near as much fun without them.
May your ninth year be as charmed as your eighth, my sunshine boy. May we always feel that unique joy in our hearts as we watch you cheerfully work your way through the day, rubbing your goodness off on everyone who crosses your path. May you always be surrounded by family and friends who love you limitlessly and unconditionally - because you know we do.
Your turn: I hope you'll pop by my wife's blog and share a thought with her. She's a lovely person. Yeah, I'm biased :)
About these photos: I could take pictures of my family all day. Some days, I do! We took the munchkin to a neato hotel here in town for a party with his friends. It's got an atrium with a pool and water slide, and it was all he could talk about for the last month. He was just, just tall enough to go down the water slide - that growth thing again - so it ended up being an even happier day for him.
Thematic Photographic tie-in: If you're following this week's Thematic Photographic theme - signs - you'll notice my none-too-subtle inclusion of Noah's birthday cake in this entry. That's kind of a sign, right? Anyway, my point is simple: Signs are everywhere. They take many forms. Please feel free to think outside the box as you plan your own TP contributions. Click here to start or continue your photo addiction.